Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Making Lefse Xmas Eve

One of my favorite traditions is making lefse on Christmas Eve morning at Grandma's house. This year we prepared the dough the night before and brought it along. It is made from mashed potatoes, 5 pounds or so, of course made with butter and mashed as finely as possible, no lumps, so that it will ultimately roll out smoothly. Having no lumps required lots of taste testing. Lots.

Sister C. was there, me & the 3 girls, and Grandma. We brought Starbucks. Since Grandma had taught us so well, basically she hung out while we did the mixing, rolling, and cooking on the griddles.

The little kid got to do some of the cooking. She did a great job turning the lefse, which is really hard. The griddle is extremely hot. When it is bubbling on the underside, you have to quickly slide the turner all the way under the lefse, turn, then flatten it out.

The older girls were just quietly and efficiently doing their part rolling and cooking. My main job this year was mixing the dough (so now we all truly know how to make it, start to finish). Grandma, C & I only rolled out 2-3 lefse each. The girls did all the rest!

More photos here:
Making Christmas Lefse

And I noticed by chance that S.'s recipe for lefse is now on Allrecipes!! I submitted it for her, as at 12 she is too young to submit.
Christmas Lefse on Allrecipes

Lefse is very tasty spread with butter and either white sugar or brown sugar (I prefer the latter). Yum!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas!

(note the snow falling in the background!!)



I got a camera today--isn't it cool?





It says -- Canon S3856-Digital, One Fine Camera

I get to pick one out now...yay!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Elf & Happy Scrooge!



These are our greetings:

Elf Yourself

Scrooge Yourself

Please note before you click: These sites are extremely busy right now. So it may take a while for the greetings to load.

Check it out here:

To make an Elf Yourself

To make a Scrooge Yourself

Fridays

I love Fridays. What's not to like? Pending weekend, hopefully some extra needed sleep, anticipation of activities (parties this time of year), etc.

Every Friday I take the 2 older girls to Caribou on the way to school. They try out various flavors of hot chocolate, smoothies, and once in a while a beverage that includes coffee.

I get that extra shot of smooth coffee richness -- and caffeine of course.

And a few extra precious moments with them.

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Haydn

Here's me playing Haydn piano sonata in C major. And not that well I might add.


video

Monday, December 17, 2007

HB Sissy

Ok, so I'm a day late!

Happy Happy-

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Santa

Santa is waving and saying hi!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cookie Party-more

Cars are coming into our driveway 1 by 1, as the cookie party has just started. A is hosting a cookie swap, where each girl brings 1-2 dozen cookies, some to eat, some to share, plus a Secret Santa gift.

Here we were getting ready...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cookie Swap Prep


A. is planning a cookie swap for next weekend. She had a friend come over to try out some of the recipes. Hmmm-flour and chocolate chips basically everywhere!




Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Little Sledding

Sunday was a great day for sledding. And now we have about 4" inches more -- for the kids to play in! And for me to shovel!! Fun.

G and her friend L did a "spider web." That is, they held each other's ropes from their sleds and then stayed together down the hill. I thought they would get all tangled up and topple over each other precariously etc., but no, it worked very well!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Snow

We had a snowstorm yesterday, about 6 inches that fell during the day. There wasn't really anything we had to do or anywhere we had to go in particular. S. had an event with Job's Daughter's and before we could decline going due to the bad road conditions, they called and canceled.

We decorated, hung out at home and basically had a nice day. My husband made a delicious beef stew with the added sweetness of baked beans and kielbasa sausage.

OK-yes. I took these pics from the same place, either from an inside window or perched at the front door - but not outside.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Today-Something New

So today there is something new about us. What could it be?

OK, yes, S got glasses. They are very fun -- hard to see what they look like from this view. They are dark navy, but yellow on the inside which gives them some sparkle. For the kid who sparkles.

She's been commenting on how "sharp" everything is now.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One More Day!




Oh-one more day to go in my daily blog promise, with Nablopomo! It's gone quickly and taken forever at the same time!!!

I've already done my post for today, so this is just superfluous innocuous filler!!

Oh-I'm just giddy now!




Fireplace

Seems like there is a sequence to everything. So to get to the final goal there are many steps, yet no progress can be made until we check off each task along the way. It's exasperating at times.

We have a two-story fireplace that was re-stuccoed during our remodel last year. Pictured is the downstairs fireplace-in the den where we have a TV and sectional. Before and after pics. Nice improvement huh?
So now, we had to get the chimney sweep to come. So that took a while.

Then we went to look at fireplace doors. Well, this became complicated. See the cut-out? So the door opening isn't exactly rectangular? This meant either a) we got an expensive custom door or b) we retrofitted the opening so that it was squared off. B was preferred as it would be to code, safer for the kids, and would help insulate this room in winter and keep it warmer (on the average cold winter day it is about 5 degrees cooler in this room than the rest of the house).

So we had a firm come in to bid on this little project. Then a subcontractor "fireplace guy" came over. Wouldn't touch the project, couldn't figure out why - thought it was because I was orchestrating this and these are "men's men" e.g. I wasn't in the "club" therefore not worthy of the job.

Went back and forth. Finally had the stucco contractor come in to do it. Seems the problem was, the hearth is beautiful yet fragile marble. This guy was mortified that they would cut into the brick and the hearth would break! Ahh-now this is making sense. But the lack of communication of the supposed real reason mystifies me.





So finally this week we got to this point. Before and after. Opening nicely squared off now.


But we're not quite there yet! There's some cement patching needed in the grooves and openings made when they cut out the brick.

Then the doors can be ordered and installed.

And all I wanted was to be able to have a nice fire. Not so simple it seems.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cahill School

Yesterday G's class went to Cahill School and Grange Hall to experience school days in the late 1890's. Many of the girls dressed up in dresses with aprons, boots, and some wore bonnets or large ribbons in their hair. Some of the boys wore overalls or bandanas tied around their neck. They brought lunches in baskets or pails wrapped in cloth-jam or butter sandwiches, chunk cheese, fruit or veggies, and of course no pop or many sweets to speak of.

I stopped over briefly and observed a lively square dance to the tune of "skip to my lou."

Here are a few pics.















Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What do pianos and frozen hair have in common?

NOTHING!


Piano. Ah one of my most favorite hobbies. One of many. One of my favorite songs I am working on right now is Haydn Sonata 5 in C major. It has a great tempo and the notes really blend together but still at the same time stand out. Okay enough music talk.

Today we organized scarfs, hats and mittens for the cold weather coming up ahead. A and S got out of the car this morning going to school and after about 20 sec. A's hair froze and looked like ramen noodles. Thats how cold it was. There wasn't even any snow! Yet... But anyhow i wish they would make a frozen hair cure and just call it a day. Cause thats what I'm doing right now. Calling it a day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cyber Monday...? CAKE DAY!


Here is where we write about Cyber Monday.

Blah blah blah blah.

....
Alright mom.

This is A talking...NOW.

Today is believe it or not Cake day and Throw out Leftovers day, also Good Grief day.

Believe it or not that is what today is. So....HAPPY 26th of November!

Heres a cake recipe...as if this post isn't boring enough.


LUNCH BOX APPLE CAKE

Spicy and moist, this delicious apple cake will be a favorite lunch box dessert.

Preparation time: 30 min Baking time: 30 min
Yield: 15 servings

Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 medium (2 cups) apples, peeled, chopped 1/4-inch

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour 13x9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

Combine butter, 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (2 to 3 minutes). Stir soda into buttermilk in small bowl; add to butter mixture. Add eggs, flour, spices and salt; beat on medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Gently stir in apples. Spoon into prepared baking pan.

Combine all topping ingredients in small bowl; mix well. Sprinkle topping over cake batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): Calories: 280, Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 320mg, Carbohydrates: 47g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 4g

[Mom wants me to cite this so...i think its just because shes a fan of land o lakes.... jeez.]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oh How Fantastic.


Well today was just fantastic!
First off i brought...okay dragged my three daughters to church and we had just a fantastic time. Then we did a few errands on the way home. When we got home we had lunch and then A and S did some homework and then we cleaned for a while. After that we went to a nearby mall and chose some glasses for S. Yes glasses. They are a fantastic pair, fits S's face perfectly! Then we got home and got ready for a small little get together for Uncle D's birthday party. We got him this fantastic card that plays that one song that goes.."I don't wanna be a chicken I don't wanna be a duck so i shake my butt." its a fantastic little number. And now we are all at home and i just played some piano and off to bed we go. Tomorrow is a fantastic school day! What a fantastic day today.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

Here's a few pics of our Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

What an odd term, Black Friday. Well, we set off for downtown Chicago to check out Michigan Avenue. The chilly, windy conditions did not keep us from braving the crowds. We headed to Gap, Disney Store, Burberry's, H&M, Needless Markup (um Nieman Marcus), Saks, then Water Tower Place, North Face, and more. Not many bargains to be found, but we enjoyed browsing, just checking everything out.

By 11 or so, things were getting a bit packed. So we hit the road and went to our favorite hot dog place, Irving's for Red Hot Lovers in Wilmette. Best cheese dog I've had oh since the last time we were there, exactly one year ago today.